Doesn't Add Up: Rumors of Apple Purchasing Beats

As reported by the Financial Times (subscription required; MacRumors link for those without) Apple is allegedly in talks to purchase Beats for $3.2 billion. Beats makes headphones and recently launched a music service to go head-to-head with Spotify.

Apple could use some help with iTunes Radio, though for those simply looking for radio it isn't too shabby; Apple certainly loves nice hardware and hardware design and it is no secret that Apple's EarPods, though improved, could stand to be improved upon. However, this still doesn't add up. It isn't the money, it's the principle. 

They don't need the design ability. They aren't going to pay $3.2 billion for the streaming music service side of it and shut down the headphone business, though I suppose they could sell it (or only buy the streaming music part to begin with). The headphones that Beats makes are good, but nowhere near great, and they're extremely expensive.

Something is missing from the equation.

Apple has plenty of engineering talent to make better sounding headphones. Apple has plenty of design talent to run circles around Beats. Apple has plenty of engineering talent, or could at least purchase it, to improve iTunes Radio to go legitimately compete with Spotify and Beats. Sure an acquisition could jump start any of these initiatives, but a smaller and lower profile purchase, or series of purchases, would do the job nicely.

There is either more to this than we're all seeing or imagining, which is often the case with Apple, or this is completely bogus. Both of these seem quite plausible, I guess only time will tell.